How To Make Mozzarella Cheese (With Vinegar)

Making mozzarella cheese with vinegar was my first attempt at cheese making and I am happy to say it was a success!

I have wanted to make my own cheese for years.

As with sourdough, I was extremely intimidated. The process seemed just much too complicated and scary. I even bought rennet once.

Unfortunately, it sat in my cupboard for years before I finally threw it out. It turns out Rennet has an expiry date as well. I didn’t want to waste our food budget on something I would throw out, so I just didn’t do anything. But the yearning to make my own cheese still lingered.

In the fall of 2021, I was again able to find a source of raw milk and was so happy. Determined to try making cheese this time, I found a recipe that seemed simple enough and gave it a try.

I am so happy I did. The process of making a mozzarella cheese using vinegar instead of rennet gave me a quick win and made me excited to try more cheese recipes. 

Making cheese with vinegar simply means using vinegar in place of citric acid. It causes the milk to congeal and separate. This is what makes cheese.

Don’t ask me about the more complicated and scientific process cause I don’t know! I just know that if you follow the recipe, it works. 

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What is Mozzarella Cheese?

Mozzarella cheese is a semi-soft curd cheese. The base is always white(or light yellow) in color, although it can differ according to the flavorings added. It comes from Italy and tastes smoother and lighter than hard cheeses. It tastes best the fresher it is. 

This recipe that I am going to share with you gives a cheese that is hard enough to slice for sandwiches or shred for pizza. I was afraid it would taste just like butter but was pleasantly surprised that the flavor was very close to store-bought mozzarella cheese.

A bit milder, but oh so delicious. High-quality mozzarella cheese has a soft, milky flavor.

This simple recipe for mozzarella cheese does not require cutting of curds, which is another reason it’s great for beginners (they tell me there is a technique to cutting the curd as well). 

What is the best milk to make mozzarella cheese?

I used Raw milk because I believe that it’s best for our health. However, store-bought milk works just as well. Just make sure you don’t buy Ultra-pasteurized milk.

That will not work. The milk I used had about 2% fat content.

How to Make Mozzarella Cheese With Vinegar

Gather your ingredients and tools.

With this simple recipe, you only need several ingredients and a few tools.

To make the cheese you will need:

A food thermometer. That one is non-negotiable. Mine looks similar to this one.

Large pot.

Milk

Baking Soda

Salt

Butter 

Instructions:

Pour your milk into a large dutch pot. Heat it on medium-low heat to 126°F, stirring occasionally. This does not take long, so don’t leave your pot unattended. 

Once your milk reached 126°F, take the pot off heat immediately.

Pour in your vinegar, stirring to mix it in well. You will notice your milk start separating. This is your cheese! Stir well, then leave sitting for one hour. 

mozzarella cheese separating in pot

Once your hour has passed, take the cheese out with your hands. Put it into a bowl and work in baking soda and salt. Let stand for half an hour. 

Put into a double boiler and melt with butter until butter is fully mixed in. Continue folding the cheese until it starts to stretch and mold together. Once it looks smooth, carefully pour it into a form. 

Cool until firm. This cheese you can slice for sandwiches, as well as shred for pizza. It’s a mild cheese that works great for any meal.

Enjoy!

Recipe:

20 cups (1 ¼ gallon) milk

1 tsp baking soda

¼ cup butter

1 cup white vinegar

1 tsp salt.

Why do you add vinegar to milk to make cheese?

Cheesemaking often involves starter culture and rennet to separate the whey from the curds. In this recipe, vinegar is the acidic substance that causes the milk to coagulate.

I choose to start my cheesemaking journey with a recipe that uses vinegar because not only is it already in my pantry, it doesn’t feel as intimidating to use. Next, I want to try a cheese recipe with rennet, but slow baby steps.

Which Vinegar do I need to make cheese?

To make cheese using vinegar, you need pure white vinegar. Don’t use pickling vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar.

My first attempt at cheesemaking turned out great, and I am looking forward to trying more cheeses.

It’s a good idea to start with easier cheeses such as cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and cream cheese.

Making mozzarella cheese with vinegar is a great way to test the waters of cheesemaking.

Simple Mozzarella Cheese

Simple Mozzarella Cheese

Yield: 12 oz
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

A simple cheese for beginner cheese makers. Using only a couple of ingredients, this cheese will become a favorite in your home.

Ingredients

  • 20 cups (1 ¼ gallon) milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt.

Instructions

1. Pour your milk into a large dutch pot. Heat it on medium-low heat to 126*F, stirring occasionally. This does not take long, so don’t leave your pot unattended. 

2. Once your milk reached 126*, take the pot off heat immediately.

3. Pour in your vinegar, stirring to mix it in well. You will notice your milk start separating. This is your cheese! Stir well, then leave sitting for one hour. 

4 . Once your hour has passed, take the cheese out with your hands. Put it into a bowl and work in baking soda and salt. Let stand for half an hour. 

5. Put into a double boiler and melt with butter until butter is fully mixed in. Continue folding the cheese until it starts to stretch and mold together. Once it looks smooth, carefully pour it into a form. 

6. Cool until firm. This cheese you can slice for sandwiches, as well as shred for pizza. It’s a mild cheese that works great for any meal.

4 thoughts on “How To Make Mozzarella Cheese (With Vinegar)”

  1. This didn’t make mozzarella for me. I ended up with a homemade version of the same cheese you get when reconstituting the cheese sachel from Mac n cheese in a box. The ingredients are similar to homemade ricotta as well.

    1. I’ve actually had that happen to me once too when I was making this exact recipe at my parents’ place. How accurate is your thermometer? Also, what kind of salt did you use? We added Himalayan Salt that time it turned into a spreadable cheese.

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